Bhaiya Dooj


About Bhaiya Dooj



After the dazzling festival of lights and all the high-voltage grandeur of Diwali, the last day of the Diwali celebrations is ‘Bhaiya Dooj’ which glorifies the brother-sister love all over in India. Bhaiya Dooj falls on the new moon night. In literal meaning, ‘Bhai’ means brother and ‘Dooj’ means the second day after the new moon which is a day of celebration.

Bhaiya Dooj is on 5 November, 2013.

Story of Bhaiya Dooj



As per the legends in Hinduism, Bhaiya Dooj is of great significance and values in Hinduism. Almost all the festivals and customs in Hinduism are related to special characters and ideals which justify its celebration and help the population to understand its significance.

This story of Bhaiya Dooj has passed on to generations from generations. It goes that there lived a family in a village, which had two children, an elder sister and a younger brother. Since the sister was elder, she got married and went away but the brother was left behind. With time he grew up and the picture of his sister faded in his vision but he would miss her on special days when others would celebrate with their sisters.

One fine day he asked his mother that why didn’t his sister come to meet them over the past years to which his mother replied that there was a dangerous and scary forest in between the two villages that had to be crossed and hence nobody travelled from the other village to this village.

The boy decided to go and meet his sister. Without considering the dangers he set out and when he faced all the dangers in the forest he prays and requested the snakes, mountains etc. to let him go and meet his sister once and then eat him when he returns. To this the dangers let him go. Finally he reaches and meets his sister; she embraces him and treats him with care and affection.

When he decides to go back he tells his sister that he’ll soon be dead. To this his sister packs her bags and sets out with him through the forest. She packs with her offerings to make to the dangers in order to save her brother. When they confront the snake, she offers milk and the satisfied snake leaves. When the tiger attacks, she offers meat and the tiger leaves as well. When the mountains threaten she prays and offers metals and flowers and the mountain also lets them pass by safely.

After crossing all the dangers she is tired and thirsty and goes to fetch water from a place where the gypsies are working, while her brother rests under a tree. The gypsies tell the girl that her brother is still not out of danger and the only way to save him is to curse and abuse him throughout, get him married and demand all the rituals and customs to be performed on her first.

The boy and the village are shocked to see the loving sister turning into evil and abusing him throughout. The whole village wanted her to leave as early as possible as she had been creating troubles. When the boy is about to get married she insists that the ‘sehra’ should be tied to her forehead first, where she finds a snake instead of a string and so saves his brother.

At the time of the ‘pheras’ (around the fire) the boy falls into a dead faint as the evil spirits were about to take him, but by mistake his sister was asleep. By the noise his sister wakes up and comes abusing and cursing in the courtyard and listening to these abuses and seeing the white blaze in her eyes the evils fled away and the boy is saved.

When the sister is about to leave she narrates the whole incident about the gypsies’ prediction to the people and this when the people and her brother realize what a caring and affectionate sister she was and how she had been taking all dangers on her to save her bother. Her brother prays that may every brother get a sister like her. Hence ‘Bhaiya dooj’ was celebrated.

Bhaiya Dooj Celebrations



On this day the sisters get ready and put a ‘Tilak’ or a vermillion mark on the forehead of their brothers and perform a ‘aarti’ by showing him the holy flame and prays for his well being. Brothers and sisters exchange gifts with each other for all their love and care.

Bhai Dooj is celebrated is most parts of India but is known by different names.
  • The celebration of this festival in Bihar is quite different where the sisters heap choicest of curses on their brothers and then they prick their own tongue as a punishment and ask for their brothers' forgiveness. Brothers' bless their sisters and pray for their well being.

  • In West Bengal, Bhai Dooj is known as Bhai Phota. Sisters fast in the morning until the traditional ceremonies are completed. The tilak is made of ghee, sandalwood (chandan) and kohl (kajal). Kheer and coconut laddoos are among the traditional sweets of the festival.

  • In Gujarat, it is celebrated as Bhai Beej with traditional tilak ceremony and perform aarti (prayers).

  • The Marathi speaking communities of Maharashtra and Goa, celebrate this festival as Bhav Bij. The sisters draw a square on the floor where the brothers are supposed to sit only after he eats a bitter fruit called Karith. Basundi Poori and Shrikhand Poori are the popular dishes of the festival.

When is Bhaiya Dooj?

Year
Date
2011 28 October, Friday
2012 15 November, Thursday
2013 5 November, Tuesday
2014 25 October, Saturday
2015 13 November, Friday
2016 1 November, Tuesday
2017 21 October, Saturday
2018 9 November, Friday
2019 29 October, Tuesday
2020 16 November, Monday

Last Updated on : 16/09/2013